Friday, July 1, 2011

Hot Fun In the Summer Time

Hello All!

Summer has arrived and time to gather an armload of printed friends and finding a cozy place to cuddle up with them is at hand.

Below is a list of recently and soon to be released works to consider for your summer reading enjoyment. Take a look. Perhaps pick one or two or three. Whatever you decide—I wish you a happy season of reading.


Home Again: Stories of Restored Relationships – Anthology / November 2010

Wanda B. Campbell, Linda F. Beed, Bernard Boulton, Tavares Carney, Maurice M. Gray, Jr., Shenette Jones, Tyora Moody, Dijorn Moss, Trinea Moss
Home Again is a compelling journey into the relationships that matter most: family, friends and self. Each story is founded on natural love, but will require the Father s love to heal the brokenness. Travel with husbands and wives, brothers, sisters, friends and families as they maneuver through life's hurts and betrayals while leaning on a power greater than themselves. 

The Retreat – Dijorn Moss / December 2010
For those who have ever wondered what goes on at a men's retreat, The Retreat is an in-depth look into the lives of four men who have looked for answers in all the wrong places . . . until now.
Quincy is in the final stages of his divorce, but he still wants to know which church member had an affair with his wife. Jamal is on the verge of the promotion of a lifetime, but unresolved issues with his son, Jamir, threaten everything. Chauncey is a man who will go to great lengths for his church, but not for his terminally ill brother. Will is a young hustler who has been given a rare opportunity to make a choice that will change his life forever.
These four men are all at a crossroads in their lives. Will they lay their burdens down at the cross, or will they choose paths that will cause more harm than good? It will all be revealed at the men's retreat, where they learn that they need God and his wisdom more than ever.

 Snitch – Booker T. Mattison / May 2011
In Jersey City the code of the streets is simple. No matter what, you don't talk to the cops. You don't snitch. But when young bus driver Andre Bolden witnesses a murder on his route, the code gets personal and every decision leads him deeper into worlds that he never intended to enter.
In this rich story that ratchets up the tension and suspense at every turn, the reality of life on the street is infused with spiritual truth. Gifted storyteller Booker T. Mattison's realistic tale of revenge and redemption offers hope about the strength of community against violence and intimidation.

Trinity’s Hope – Melissa Ewell Miller
Trinity Hope Carondolette, the youngest child in a family of prominent professionals and passionate believers, is anything but a typical teenager. Once on a college campus and no longer under the shadow of her parents' faith, she struggles to find her place and a way to sustain her personal relationship with God. While surrounded by ravenous guys and desperate females, Trinity experiences the wonder of a first love. Committed to keeping her virtues intact, she struggles with resisting temptations that could lead to broken vows and devastating consequences.

Quiet As It's Kept – Monique Miller
Will Tracy is a good, God-fearing man who had a shaky childhood as he watched his father abuse his mother. But now he’s grown and feeling confident and secure that he has finally met the woman he’s been praying God would send him to be able feel the security he’s always craved. Morgan is beautiful and appears to be the perfect Christian woman. But once Will pledges his life to her, he nearly loses his.... After a series of strange, inexplicable “accidents” plague him, he starts to wonder if the woman he married is all that she outwardly appears to be—or if he’s indeed sleeping with the enemy. He continues to honor the vows he made to God and to Morgan. But is this wife of his really a gift from God? Or is she the devil in disguise?


Silver Lining – Wanda B. Campbell / July 26, 2011
After exchanging vows with a prominent physician, Marlissa Scott-Jennings is prepared to enjoy the life most women dream about, but only a few achieve until demons from her past resurface with a vengeance. Overnight, the perfect life she'd hoped for crumbles and leaves her finding comfort in alcohol.
Leon Scott had it all: a loving wife, children and a thriving business until tragedy strikes and he trades it all in for a bottle in a brown paper bag.
After too much to drink leads to a night in a motel room, Marlissa's and Leon's world collide, resulting in friendship and sobriety. On their journey from addiction, the two friends face their toughest task: repairing their broken marriages. Although their spouses may not prove to be as forgiving as the Lord, Marlissa and Leon continue to press forward, despite the obstacles, believing that after every storm there is always a Silver Lining.

Redeeming Waters – Vanessa Davis Griggs / August 2011
Must a young woman choose between her commitmen to her marriage…and to God?
Brianna was ten years old when she first met twenty-five year old David R. Shepherd, a devout and gifted gospel recording artist who would ultimately become world renowned megastar, King David. He left an impression on Brianna she would never forget. And they were destined to meet again…
Brianna's best friend, Alana Norwood, hasn't had the best encounters with men, but she's always been a good friend to Brianna, no matter what situation the two may find themselves in. But despite their bond, the next time Brianna encounters King, she's a lonely young wife seeking solace in religious studies. While Alana's quest for fame has her living a life that seems to be going nowhere fast, King's companionship offers Brianna the deep emotional connection she longs for. But when both a tragedy and a blessing enters Brianna's life, she finds herself wrestling with questions of faith, fidelity, forgiveness, and the sovereignty of God…like never before.

The Resurrection of Nat Turner/Part One: The Witnesses – Sharon Ewell Foster / August 2011
The truth has been buried more than one hundred years . . .
Leading a small army of slaves, Nat Turner was a man born with a mission: to set the captives free. When words failed, he ignited an uprising that left over fifty whites dead. In the predawn hours of August 22, 1831, Nat Turner stormed into history with a Bible in one hand, brandishing a sword in the other. His rebellion shined a national spotlight on slavery and the state of Virginia and divided a nation’s trust. Turner himself became a lightning rod for abolitionists like Harriet Beecher Stowe and a terror and secret shame for slave owners.
In The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnesses, Nat Turner’s story is revealed through the eyes and minds of slaves and masters, friends and foes. In their words is the truth of the mystery and conspiracy of Nat Turner’s life, death, and confession.
The Resurrection of Nat Turner spans more than sixty years, sweeping from the majestic highlands of Ethiopia to the towns of Cross Keys and Jerusalem in Southampton County. Using extensive research, Sharon Ewell Foster breaks hallowed ground in this epic novel, revealing long-buried secrets about this tragic hero.

Broken -- Patricia Haley / August 2011

Don Mitchell is certain the Lord has a plan for him to reconcile his family, when his younger half brother, Joel, suddenly resigns as CEO of their father’s company. The gesture comes after Joel has nearly sent the enterprise into bankruptcy. Don’s first order of business as newly appointed head of DMI is to bring his estranged older sister home. It isn’t easy. Tamara has been running from the past for years. But once she is home, she plans to claim her rightful place in the multimillion-dollar family ministry—no matter what it takes or who gets hurt. Joel, meanwhile, is regretting his decision to step down and is doing everything in his power to resume his path to greatness. As Don finds himself waist-deep in the corporate mess Joel left behind, his love life is also in flux. He must balance a complicated friendship with Abigail, his right-hand woman at DMI, with a budding romance involving his beautiful business partner in South Africa. Just as Don begins to realize that forgiving and forgetting may be his greatest weapon, a terrifying ordeal rocks the family to its core, and they must turn to God and to one another for the answers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beyond the Surface

There comes a time when courage to stand out in the crowd has everything to do with caring for others. Author Melissa Miller has certainly shown her caring for the next generation with the content of her debut novel, Trinity's Hope.

Rather than disappearing into a sea of virtually identical works, Ms. Miller's spot-on story can be described in a word--memorable. The story of the Carondolette's is touching, insightful and engaging. Their value system is the foundation that they stand upon in a time where doing `your thang' has become society's mantra.

Beyond choices to be made within a budding relationship, the story invites the reader into a world where consequences of choice is weighed not only for self, but for others. It also opens eyes to how to love (family and others) with vulnerability and without compromise.

Although most will recommend this as a teen read, Trinity's Hope is a valuable read for all ages.

Book provided courtesy of publisher.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be Careful What You See and Say!

Snitch by Booker T. Mattison sheds light on the harsh realities of life.

It is the story of Andre Bolden, a young man whose life is turned upside down by errors in judgment and the price that the code of the streets says he must pay.

In his quest to regain control of his life Andre will be pulled in many directions. His chosen avenues to travel for answers, some may consider extreme. To Andre they become the tools that will help unearth deeply buried emotions. Unbeknownst to him his chosen path is also leading him toward discovering purpose.

Author Mattison goes beyond the expected story to shed light on issues of suicide, mental health, the offshoots of family dysfunction and religion. With amazing skill Booker creates a supporting cast who as important to this story as the protagonist. They are because it is through Andre’s reaction to and interaction with them that aids the reader in understanding who he is. Snitch is both intellectual and street-wise. It is also a work that readers from a wide-range of backgrounds can appreciate.

Conversation with the Author

It’s always my pleasure to curl up with a good book. It’s a greater pleasure when the opportunity to converse with the author to that good book, arises.

To be honest an interview with Booker Mattison is more like a quiet conversation with a friend. His humility and passion for his work is beyond inspiring. Most important, a conversation with Booker Mattison is an opportunity to share a bit of this stimulating writer with you. Please enjoy.

LUBF: How did Snitch come about?
BTM:  "My first thoughts for a second book did not sit well with my agent. What is now Snitch was a part of another work that came to the forefront."

LUBF: The code of the street in terms of snitching is a timeless one. My question becomes, why this story and why now?
BTM: "We’re facing a silent crisis that’s not getting enough attention. Other countries are prime examples of what lawlessness left to run amuck – what it does to lives. Add to that the blue wall of silence has entrenched the same code as that of the streets yet they expect citizens to do what they won’t."

LUBF: Do you feel that the scenarios inside of Snitch can be equated with the growing by bullying issue?
BTM: "Totally different issues, but in practice we know that snitching involves intimidation, therefore, to a degree they can be linked, but not convinced that these two issues are related."

LUBF: Andre, like many is a man of above average intellect, why is he settling for less in life?
BTM: "He has come to identify himself intrinsically with his failings. He believes himself to be unlovable. Because he does he takes responsibility for the things he wasn’t responsible for."

LUBF: On the other side of this literary coin we have Sandra who seems to have it all. What do you feel allowed her to get off track and join the ranks of the struggling?
BTM: "Sandra reminds me of young women raised in strong families, they are covered and protected, but in a sense it makes them more vulnerable to men like Andre.

LUBF: So do you believe that in giving her so much o one thing, her parents may have unintentionally set her up for failure:
BTM: "Sandra's parents giving what they did cannot be used as a reason for her inability to make sound decisions. What has become common in Western culture is childen going out to discover the world--it leaves them open to whatever. Statistics show that 98% of people who marry are not virgins; this includes those in the church." 

LUBF: It is said that a writer can reveal the nature of the protagonist through supporting characters. Was the entire supporting cast pre-planned or did some just fall into place?
BTM: "In my works I want to show what is in my background, strong AA males. 

LUBF: What do you want people to take away from Snitch –
BTM: When on tour with Unsigned Hype I visited many schools and libraries. When I asked attendees what they thought about snitches & snitching – the universal thought was that it’s a bad thing. I then asked if they would tell if the crime was committed against them or they family. The moment they personalized it, things changed.

LUBF: In terms of your writing, what is it to you?
BTM: "I consier my writing my daily bread. I write as the Lord gives."

Booker makes it very clear that he didn’t write Snitch to force others into telling. It was written in order to:
  • Fairly present both sides of the issue
  • To allow reader to personalize it in order to make decisions
  • For communities to come together for discussion
  • Hopefully open dialogue across the nation.
I hope you have enjoyed this interview as much as I did. To learn more about Booker and his works you can visit him on the web at:  Click HERE to view video trailer.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Getting Your Joy Back

In Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith speaks to the mental blocks that separate most from living a joy-filled life.

Within these pages many will see portions of their friends, their mothers and, if they’re honest—themselves. They will because at some point in an individual’s life they struggle, if even in a minute way) with: 1)Being controlling; 2) Run away emotions; 3) Insecurity and a host of other foibles that hampers mental wellness.

Through the inclusion of short stories and words of inspiration the author encourages the readers to break the cycle of complacency.

This work is a good tool to use for personal self-examination or in small or large discussion groups. The author also provides the reader with an eight week Bible study.

To learn more about Dr. Dalton-Smith visit her at: